USA (New York)
Domestic workers’ pay and conditions are among the worst in the US. A quarter are paid below the minimum wage. Few receive overtime. A majority are minorities, nearly half are immigrants, and almost all are women. Fair Care Labs is an arm of the National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA) – the main US trade body for the 1.8m-plus people employed in this sector – that harnesses technology to improve conditions for workers, who might be caring for children or the elderly or helping keep a house clean and well-run.
Current projects include a quick fix, user-friendly app to help employers and employees draft together an in-house work agreement; a mobile website that sets out clearly a housekeeper’s tasks in English or Spanish so that he/she and their employer know what work will be performed within a shift; a web-based service to match caregivers with families requiring these services. FCL and the NDWA together aim to raise service and employment norms to ultimately aim to improve the quality of care and domestic work jobs in the home.
Chris Moss has been writing on travel, tech, sex, food, art and books for nearly two decades. He co-founded street paper Hecho en Buenos Aires, writes regularly for the Guardian and Telegraph newspapers, and is now writing a thriller set in Andalusia.
Palak Shah, Founding Director